Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beau’s Celebrates 5th Birthday with Beer-to-Energy Project

Vankleek Hill, ON


Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. will be celebrating five years in the beer business on July 2 with a launch of a new project that converts sips of organic beer into units of energy. The program, which Beau’s calls Green Futures, is a unique initiative that will allow members to purchase shares in a beer “co-operative” of sorts.

The local microbrewery has been aging several brands of their beer in bourbon barrels, with this special goal in mind. They will be releasing 3 of these bourbon aged brands this July 2 as they launch details on the Green Futures Program. It is designed as a co-op type club that entitles members to 10 beers aged in bourbon barrels per year for three years, at a membership cost of $300. The program is called Green Futures because the brewery will use membership fees to install solar panels on its 30,000 sq. ft. facility.

Aging beer in bourbon barrels is a recent trend in craft beer. The additional flavours and aromas of bourbon in a strong beer add interesting complexity and because bourbon barrels are only used once for bourbon, they also add oak flavours and aromas.

“Beer tastes better when you can feel good about the brewery you bought it from,” says co-founder Steve Beauchesne, who started the brewery with his father Tim on July 1, 2006. Tim agrees: “We really wanted to mark our 5 year mark with an ambitious project that furthers our work in creating unique, tasty beer with our work in creating a truly sustainable business.”

Beau’s has applied for approval for the installation project and is awaiting confirmation to begin installation, but has already begun making the roof ready for the project. In total, 600 shares will be made available, raising $180,000. Total cost for the entire project is estimated at $500,000, but the solar energy will bring revenue in as well, allowing the brewery to finance a large portion of the installation and pay the remaining balance from the revenue created.

Initial estimates completed by Solera Sustainable Energies, the company Beau’s has contracted with to complete the project, of solar energy captured through this project is over 90,000kWh per year. Beau’s recently contracted the Guelph Food and Technology’s Sustainability Division to complete an energy assessment and has determined that this energy creation equates to almost 40% of total electrical usage at current usage.

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